52 Ancestors 2015 Edition: #13 – Meet the Not So Honorable William T. Meisberger (1869 – 1929)

Posted on March 30, 2015 in 52 Ancestors

This ancestor definitely behaved in a manner different than what they “should” have done. I am speaking about my maternal great-grand uncle, William Theodore Meisberger.

He was born, the son of Theobald C. Meisberger and Mary Catherine Strausser, on 12 November 1869 in Brady, Coal Township, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania.  The town of Brady became Johnson City and finally Ranshaw.  Ranshaw is now a suburb of Shamokin, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania.

Based on the 1900 will of Theobald Meisberger, William inherited a lot with a house in Coal Township.  The following deed that I acquired several years ago shows that this lot is sold by William at a Sheriff’s sale in 1910.

Northumberland County, Pennsylvania, Deed Books, Book 152, Page 727, Wm. T. Meisberger by William Taby Sheriff to John J. Roach, 10 May 1910; Recorder of Deeds, Northumberland County Courthouse, Sunbury, PA.

Northumberland County, Pennsylvania, Deed Books, Book 152, Page 727, Wm. T. Meisberger by William Taby Sheriff to John J. Roach, 10 May 1910; Recorder of Deeds, Northumberland County Courthouse, Sunbury, PA.

 

I discovered why…

I was idly checking out some of the various newspaper sites to see if anything new popped up so I entered the surname Meisberger, which resulted in numerous hits.  I expected to see articles in Shamokin city or Sunbury county newspapers since that is where my Meisberger family resided.

Instead, the results were for newspapers in other parts of Pennsylvania, in Virginia and even in Texas.  I am so happy I viewed each one (take home lesson your ancestor may appear in non-local papers—even out-of-state).  I found my first black sheep.

In 1908, Wm. T. Meisberger was sued for $10,000 for breach of promise.  According to one article, a three-day honeymoon was disturbed when a Miss Rebecca Metz filed suit for breach of promise against her neighbor, William Meisberger, a prominent member of the Coal township school board.  Miss Metz stated that he courted her over 20 years, that they were engaged and that he was the father of her son. Meanwhile, William had recently met and married a woman from Ashland, Schuylkill County, PA.  William was apparently receiving guests in his home, congratulating him on his marriage, when he was arrested.

The articles are fascinating telling the story of this lawsuit, which was finally settled in 1910. Miss Metz was awarded $3,000 forcing William to sell his lot in the Sheriff’s sale to insure she received her monies.  In this article, William was now a former Coal township school director.  Another article stated that William was also a prominent physician, but the 1909 Boyd’s Shamokin city directory and his death certificate lists him as a laborer in the coal mines.  The various articles listed the length of this courtship anywhere from 15 years to 28 years.

All the articles are under copyright so I have not included the images in this post. Here is the chronology of the articles I’ve collected so far:

  • Monday, August 10, 1908, Richmond Times Dispatch (Richmond, VA), pg. 1
  • Wednesday, February 24, 1909, Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia, PA), Vol. 160, Issue 55, pg. 3
  • Thursday, February 25, 1909, Richmond Times Dispatch (Richmond, VA), pg. 8
  • Thursday, Feb 25, 1909, Williamsport Sun-Gazette (Williamsport, Pennsylvania), pg. 4
  • Tuesday, March 2, 1909, Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Fort Worth, TX), Vol. XXVII, Issue 46 pg. 8
  • Thursday, August 5, 1909, Wilkes-Barre Times-Leader (Wilkes-Barre, PA), pg. 3
  • Thursday, May 19, 1910, Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia, PA), Vol. 162, Issue 139, pg. 3

Sadly, William had only nineteen years of connubial bliss as he died at the age of 59 on 2 March 1929.  He is buried in St. Edward’s Cemetery in Coal Township, Northumberland County, Pa.

 

 

Week 13 of 52 Ancestors 2015 Edition, a blogging challenge initiated by Amy Johnson Crow in her blog No Story Too Small.

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52 Ancestors 2015 Edition: #12 – Eileen Anna Lorraine Gunther Noble (1897 – 1977), The Name’s the Same!

Posted on March 30, 2015 in 52 Ancestors
L. to R., Marguerite Noble Furlani, Eileen Furlani, and Lorraine Gunther Noble

L. to R., Marguerite Noble Furlani, Eileen Furlani, and Lorraine Gunther Noble

My mother had always said I was named after both my grandmothers.  My name is Eileen Ann.  I knew my Dad’s mother was named Anna, so I concurred with that but my mother’s mother was named Lorraine and that always puzzled me.

When I started my research into this family I discovered to my surprise I really was named for her.  I found my grandmother in the 1900 US census as Ilene Gunther.  In her application for Social Security, she entered her name as Lorraine Noble but in the block where it requests your full name given at birth, she wrote Eileen Anna Lorraine Gunther.

I found out the story from my aunt.  Apparently the family wanted to name her Lorraine but it got confused somehow and turned out Eileen.  My grandmother went by Ilene until she married—from then on she went by Lorraine.

My grandmother, Eileen Anna Lorraine Gunther, the daughter of Andrew [Andreas] Gunther and Mary Eva (Meisberger) Gunther, was born on 9 October 1897 in Johnson City (aka Brady and Ranshaw), Coal Township, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania.

Photo of Lorraine Noble, date unknown, location unknown

Photo of Lorraine Noble, date unknown, location unknown

Lorraine married William J. Noble on 29 June 1917 in Elkton, Cecil County, Maryland. Elkton is the Gretna Green for folks in eastern Pennsylvania, although it would have been quite a trip for someone from Northumberland County. My grandmother was only 19 years old so this is probably the reason for eloping to Elkton.

William and Lorraine had three children, Marguerite Furlani (1918 – 1985), William (1923 – 1999), and Lorraine Suder (1931 – pres.). All of the children were born in Ranshaw. In the 1920 US census, Lorraine is living in her father’s household with her eldest daughter, my mother, Marguerite, who was 1 ½ years old. I have not been able to find William in the 1920 US census so far. This is a little mystery I have been trying to solve for years.

In 1941, they moved from Coal Township to 5134 Torresdale Avenue in Philadelphia, Philadelphia Co., Pa. I remember living there with my mother while my father was in the Army. It was during our stay here that my grandfather died.

My grandfather, William, died in 10 September 1945 and a short time after, my grandmother went to live with her son, William, where she lived until her death in 1977. She had broken her arm so the doctor put her in a nursing home in Feasterville, Bucks County, Pa. to recover. It is there that she died on 21 March 1977 at the age of 79. According to her death certificate, she was buried in St. Dominic’s cemetery in Philadelphia, Pa., on 24 March 1977. She is greatly missed.

 

 

Week 12 of 52 Ancestors 2015 Edition, a blogging challenge initiated by Amy Johnson Crow in her blog No Story Too Small.

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Genealogy Do-Over Week 12 – My Strausser Project, Sharing Research and Reviewing Research Travel Options

Posted on March 26, 2015 in Genealogy Do-Over

I am following the Modified Participant Options for the Genealogy Do-Over journey. I will be doing over my research for my 3rd great-grandfather, Peter Strausser, and his family in the hopes of knocking down a couple of brick walls.

My research goals are: firm up my documentation to form a sound proof argument that Mary Catherine Strausser is the daughter of Peter Strausser and Sarah (Mumma) Strausser; trace Peter Strausser and his known descendants in the hopes of finding some living descendants who may be able to provide me with some knowledge of this family; and determine the parents of Peter Strausser.

Our topics for Week 12 of the Genealogy Do-Over

Sharing Research

Modified Participant Options: If you have the time (and the energy) and you are correcting your research, consider doing the same for any online trees or messages or other information you’ve shared with others.

In his Week 12 Genealogy Do-Over post, Thomas MacEntee shared the “Do’s and Don’ts of Collaborating and Sharing.”  I particularly like the tip about tracking my work using Google Alerts. I had not thought of this trick before. Thank you, Thomas.

What I Plan to Do: I don’t think I have any trees online but when time permits, I will go through all my material to see what I may have shared online that does not have attribution.  I do have attribution for all the facts/events in my database and can provide this attribution if requested.

Reviewing Research Travel Options

Modified Participant Options: Although you’re “reviewing” your previous genealogy research, there should be no need to retrace your steps and revisit old research locations . . . unless you believe you’ll locate new items and make progress. Consider trying a sponsored research trip or heading out to a new locale!

At this point in time, I don’t know if I will need a research trip to locate new items or if I will be able to handle this research online or by mail. I have taken two genealogy cruises and they really are a wonderful way to acquire some genealogy education. I am working with my local society to sponsor a research trip to our state archives in 2015/6.

What I Plan to Do:  I do plan to take a trip in the fall to a cemetery in Northumberland County, PA to view the tombstone of my 2nd great-grandfather, Edward Noble.  This is the stone on which the only two words that are illegible are his town and parish. I only know that they are in County Mayo. The photos provided on Find A Grave cannot be enlarged without pixelating. I don’t know if I will be able to do any better but I plan to give it a try.

It is hard to believe our Do-Over journey is almost finished. There is only one more week to go. Reluctantly, looking forward to next week…

 

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The Genealogy Do-Over journey is a 13 week challenge from Thomas MacEntee, of GeneaBloggers. Week 12 (20 March – 27 March 2015) #WK12GenealogyDoOver

 

© Copyright 2015 Old Bones Genealogy, LLC

 

 

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Genealogy Mysteries – Expanded and Updated

Posted on March 25, 2015 in Genealogy Mysteries

 

In 2012, I published my first post titled Genealogy Mysteries.  This post can be found at Genealogy Mysteries. It provided a summary of the genealogy mysteries I discovered at that time.  In 2014, I published my expanded update, which can be found at Genealogy Mysteries Expanded.

Since then, I have updated the list to add new books, authors, and series in this sub-genre.

The Lost AncestorSo far, I’ve read all of these books.  All were enjoyable.   A new series starring Morton Farrier are page turners, illuminating for us the world of the forensic genealogist.  Vying with the Morton Farrier series is Jefferson Tayte, also one of the newer series by British author, Steve Robinson.  This series features an American professional genealogist, who seems to do most of his work in the UK.  To me, this series most closely emulates many of our real life dilemmas in the field of genealogy.  I am anxiously awaiting the fifth book, which I believe we can expect sometime this year.

So for those of you who also enjoy genealogy and reading mysteries, I would like to share these books and including my most recent discoveries:

The Nick Herald series by Jimmy Fox features a professional genealogist in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Nick Herald series is excellent. I wish there were more.

  • Deadly Pedigree (2001) – Kindle
  • Lineages and Lies (2002) – Kindle
  • Jackpot Blood (2014) – Kindle

The Danny O’Flaherty series by Jonathan Harrington stars an American teacher researching his family’s roots in Ireland and New York City.

  • The Death of Cousin Rose (1996) – Paperback
  • The Second Sorrowful Mystery (1999) – Paperback
  • A Great Day for Dying (2001) – Paperback

The Lottie Albright series by Charlotte Hinger features a historian and editor for the county historical society in a small town in Western Kansas.

  • Deadly Descent (2009) – Kindle
  • Lethal Lineage (2011) – Kindle
  • Hidden Heritage (2013) – Kindle

The Demary Jones series by E. L. Larkin (dec’d) is set in Seattle, Washington, with Demary as the owner of Confidential Research, specializing in genealogy and historical research.

  • Hear My Cry (1997) – Hardcover
  • Hear Me Die (1998) – Paperback
  • Die and Die (1998) – Paperback
  • Dead Men Die (1999) – Paperback
  • The Swallow Murders (1999) – Hardcover
  • Die in Texas (2002) – Hardcover

Victory (Torie) O’Shea, a genealogist in New Kassel, Missouri, is ably portrayed in a series by Rett MacPherson.

  • Family Skeletons (1997) – Kindle
  • A Veiled Antiquity (1998) – Kindle
  • A Comedy of Heirs (1999) – Kindle
  • A Misty Mourning (2000) – Kindle
  • Killing Cousins (2002) – Kindle
  • Blood Relations (2003) – Kindle
  • In Sheep’s Clothing (2004) – Kindle
  • Thicker Than Water (2005) – Kindle
  • Dead Man Running (2006) – Kindle
  • Died in the Wool (2007) – Kindle
  • The Blood Ballad (2008) – Kindle

Natasha Blake, a genealogist in the Cotswolds in England appears in the series by Fiona Mountain.

  • Pale as the Dead (2004) – Kindle
  • Bloodline (2004) – Paperback

Fay Sampson is the author of the Suzie Fewings books a series about a genealogist discovering interesting secrets in her family history in England.

  • In the Blood (2011) – Paperback
  • Those in Peril (2011) – Paperback
  • A Malignant House (2012) – Paperback
  • Father Unknown (2012) – Kindle
  • The Overlooker (2013) – Kindle
  • Beneath the Soil (2014) – Kindle

The Family Tree mysteries by Patricia Sprinkle feature Katherine Murray as an amateur genealogist who finds strange events in the past.

  • Death on the Family Tree (2006) – Kindle
  • Sins of the Fathers (2007) – Paperback (Kindle version not available in US)
  • Daughter of Deceit (2009) – Kindle

Mort Sinclair, a respected genealogist and lawyer on Fogge Island off the New England coast, stars in a series by Gene Stratton.  Gene Stratton, a much-traveled former CIA case officer, is a well-known genealogist who has had three prior books published: Plymouth Colony, Applied Genealogy, and Killing Cousins, the first Mort Sinclair mystery.

  • Killing Cousins (1999) – Hardcover
  • Cornish Conundrum (2000) – Paperback

The Nigel Barnes series by Dan Waddell concerns a professional genealogist who assists the police, mainly Detective Chief Inspector Grant Foster in London, England.

  • The Blood Detective (2008) – Kindle
  • Blood Atonement (2009) – Kindle

The Jefferson Tayte mysteries by Steve Robinson feature a professional genealogist who ferrets out family secrets and old mysteries using genealogy research primarily in the UK.  This series is a page-turner and keeps getting better and better. Can’t wait for the next one later this year.

  • In the Blood (2011) – Kindle
  • To the Grave (2012) – Kindle
  • The Last Queen of England (2012) – Kindle
  • The Lost Empress (Oct 2014) – Kindle

Patrick Day’s new series starring Anna Fitzgerald, a career detective with the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office Investigative Division, who becomes entangled with genealogy to trace old coins in this first book of the series.

  • Murders and Genealogy in Hennepin County (2012) – Kindle

Simon Shaw, professor of history and “forensic historian” in Raleigh, North Carolina, in a series by Sarah R. Shaber, uses his expertise historical and genealogical research to help solve murders that have their roots in the past.

  • Simon Said (1997) – Kindle
  • Snipe Hunt (2000) – Kindle
  • The Fugitive King (2002) – Kindle
  • The Bug Funeral (2004) – Kindle
  • Shell Game (2007) – Kindle

The Alex & Briggie mysteries by G. G. Vandagriff, team up a spunky young widow and her rifle-toting grandmother, who run a genealogy research business called RootSearch, Inc. that seems to specialize in solving murders instead of genealogy secrets or maybe both.

  • Cankered Roots (2011) – Kindle
  • Of Deadly Descent (2011) – Kindle
  • Tangled Roots (2011) – Kindle
  • Poisoned Pedigree (2012) – Kindle
  • The Hidden Branch (2011) – Kindle

In the Morton Farrier, Forensic Genealogist series by Nathan Dylan Goodwin, we discover a stubborn, determined man who uses whatever means necessary to uncover the past.  Great start of a new series.  I am anxiously awaiting the next Morton Farrier.

  • Hiding the Past (2013) – Kindle
  • The Lost Ancestor (2014) – Kindle
  • The Orange Lilies: A Morton Farrier novella (2014) – Kindle

Thomas McKerley and Ingrid Schippers in their first genealogy mystery introduce Cathy Macpherson, who uncovers her own and her husband’s past.  Hope this becomes a series.

  • Bloodlines – Touch Not the Cat (2012) – Kindle

The books by John Nixon star family historian, Madeleine Porter.  While not mysteries as we think of them, they take us through the experiences of our amateur “detective” unraveling the “mysteries” that surround them. I hope we’ll see more from this author.

  • Family Shadows (2014) – Kindle
  • The Cuckoo Clock (2014) – Kindle
  • Stolen Futures (2014) – Kindle
  • Another Summer (2014) – Kindle

This book by Stephen Molineux stars Peter Sefton, amateur family historian. Not quite a mystery but certainly a detective story.

  • The Marriage Certificate (2013) – Kindle

All of the books mentioned here can be found at Amazon.com.

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Genealogy Do-Over Week 11 – My Strausser Project, Reviewing Social Media Options and Building a Research Network

Posted on March 19, 2015 in Genealogy Do-Over

I am following the Modified Participant Options for the Genealogy Do-Over journey. I will be doing over my research for my 3rd great-grandfather, Peter Strausser, and his family in the hopes of knocking down a couple of brick walls.

My research goals are: firm up my documentation to form a sound proof argument that Mary Catherine Strausser is the daughter of Peter Strausser and Sarah (Mumma) Strausser; trace Peter Strausser and his known descendants in the hopes of finding some living descendants who may be able to provide me with some knowledge of this family; and determine the parents of Peter Strausser.

Our topics for Week 11 of the Genealogy Do-Over

Reviewing Social Media Options

Currently Using Social Media: Challenge yourself to look at other platforms besides the ones you are currently using.

Thomas MacEntee provided some excellent resources for social media and I have added them to the Social Media folder of my Genealogy Research Toolbox.  I currently use Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and, to a limited degree, Twitter. I have an account at Pinterest but haven’t really done much with it. I have been hesitant in exploring the use of social media much further because of the difficulty of managing my time.  If Pinterest is the #3 source for website traffic after Google and Facebook, I will take a closer look at this site with the goal of incorporating it into my social media.

Building a Research Network

What I Plan to Do: I started building my research network back in 2008, when I started working toward my certificate in American Records at the National Institute of Genealogical Studies (NIGS).  The chat groups were fantastic. I added mailing lists, local societies, social media groups, conferences and other educational networks, like ProGen. I plan to continue to expand my network in this very sharing community by responding whenever I can to help others and supporting to the best of my abilities my research network.

Looking forward to next week…

 

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The Genealogy Do-Over journey is a 13 week challenge from Thomas MacEntee, of GeneaBloggers. Week 11 (13 March – 19 March 2015) #WK11GenealogyDoOver

 

© Copyright 2015 Old Bones Genealogy, LLC

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52 Ancestors 2015 Edition: #11 – Rose Ann Breslin (1867 – 1945) Tombstone Tuesday

Posted on March 17, 2015 in 52 Ancestors, Family History
Headstone of Michael J. and Rose Ann (Noble) Breslin

Headstone of Michael J. and Rose Ann (Noble) Breslin

My 2nd great-aunt, Rose Ann (Noble) Breslin, was the first child of Edward and Mary (Devine) Noble to be born in America and—wait for it—she was born on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, 1867 in Locust Gap, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania.

Rose Ann married Michael Breslin around1887 since the 1900 US census shows them as married thirteen years. At that time, she has had seven children of which five were still living and at home. Prior to her marriage, we can find her in her father’s household in 1870 and with her widowed mother in 1880.

Rose Ann and Michael had twelve children altogether of which nine survived. Their children were Mary born Jan 1888, Florence born Jul 1890, Lillian born Mar 1893, Anna born Sep 1897, Edward born Sep 1899, Michael J. born abt. 1902, Ruth E. born abt. 1906, Margaret born abt. 1908 and Wilbert C. (aka Charles W.) born abt. 1910.

Yesterday, Ancestry.com released Pennsylvania Birth Certificates for 1906 – 1908. Searching this new database, I was able to find a birth certificate for Margaret–she was born 7 February 1908. According to Margaret’s birth certificate, she was Rose Ann’s eleventh child. The certificate also stated that only eight were living.  The 1910 US census states that Rose had twelve children of which nine are still living. Her last child, Wilbert, was five months which places his birth around November 1909 calculated from the census date of 16 April 1910.

According to her death certificate, Rose Ann (Noble) Breslin died a widow on 4 December 1945 in Locust Gap, Mt. Carmel Township, Northumberland Co., PA. She was predeceased by her husband, Michael J. Breslin, Sr., who died on 10 April 1944. Both are buried in St. Mary’s cemetery in Mt. Carmel.

 

Week 11 of 52 Ancestors 2015 Edition, a blogging challenge initiated by Amy Johnson Crow in her blog No Story Too Small.

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Genealogy Do-Over Week 10 – My Strausser Project, Reviewing DNA Testing Options and Organizing Research Materials – Digital

Posted on March 12, 2015 in Genealogy Do-Over

I am following the Modified Participant Options for the Genealogy Do-Over journey. I will be doing over my research for my 3rd great-grandfather, Peter Strausser, and his family in the hopes of knocking down a couple of brick walls.

My research goals are: firm up my documentation to form a sound proof argument that Mary Catherine Strausser is the daughter of Peter Strausser and Sarah (Mumma) Strausser; trace Peter Strausser and his known descendants in the hopes of finding some living descendants who may be able to provide me with some knowledge of this family; and determine the parents of Peter Strausser.

Our topics for Week 10 of the Genealogy Do-Over

Reviewing DNA Testing Options

Currently Using DNA Genealogy: If you have already completed one or more DNA test, make sure you are using all the possible tools at your disposal for interpreting results and connecting with others.

Thomas MacEntee provided some excellent links for learning more about DNA testing for genealogy. I already subscribed to the blogs, had a shortcut to the ISOGG Wiki, and downloaded the eBook from Family Tree University, “Jump into Genetic Genealogy: Use Genealogical DNA Testing to Solve Family Mysteries.”  For serious students, who wish to use DNA in their genealogy, I recommend starting with “Genetic Genealogy: The Basics and Beyond.” This book comes in both a paperback and Kindle edition and can be found at Amazon.com.

I have personally completed all the female eligible DNA tests. I have tested my full sequence mtDNA (FMS) and Family Finder DNA (autosomal or atDNA) at FamilyTreeDNA (FtDNA). I test my Autosomal (atDNA) at AncestryDNA since this is the only test they offer.  I cannot test at 23andMe since I am from Maryland. Maryland law prevents 23andMe from accepting test requests from Maryland residents.

My goal for this task is to transfer my results from AncestryDNA  to FamilyTreeDNA and to upload them to GedMatch.  I need to add an update. I was just able to upload my AncestryDNA results to FtDNA for free. I received a message that I would receive an email in about an hour once the results are processed. One down, one to go.

Depending upon how successful my research of Peter Strausser and his family concludes, I may find these DNA results useful to confirming relationships, 1) if I am able to trace other descendants of Peter Strausser and 2) provided they are willing to test.

Organizing Research Materials – Digital

Modified Participant Options: If you have not set aside your original research files and are still working with them, you’ll likely have the most work to do in terms of getting organized. Again, just like the “All-In” folks, decide on a file naming convention and start using folders to group and sort items.

Thomas is so right about the digital dark ages. Before I retired, I was an active participant in a “paperless” development effort in a large federal agency. The TIFF standard has not been updated since 1990 and it is owned by Adobe, who also supports their own PDF standard. There is a non-Adobe standard for PDF files but none to my knowledge for TIFF files.  It has been around a long, long time—technology speaking. Along with new formats, old standards are revised, updated, or dropped.

I like Thomas’ 3-2-1 Rule:

  • 3 copies of each file. This means one primary copy, likely your hard drive, and then two other copies such as in the cloud and on an external hard drive.
  • 2 different media formats. Don’t store all copies on different hard drives or in different cloud platforms. Use different media such as hard drive, cloud, USB flash drive etc.
  • 1 offsite copy. This means don’t copy files to a USB drive that you keep near your computer; place it in a fire safe. Better yet, make sure one of your file copies is in the cloud which means it is not physically stored near the hard drive version.

I back up all my data to an external hard drive and the cloud (Backblaze). I periodically copy selected data to USB flash drives. I maintain all paper photos and documents that I have scanned in archival storage sheets and boxes as I discussed in Week 9. I am thinking about adding a second cloud storage service like Mozy to my backup system.

One concern I have it protecting the paper photos and documents from fire.

In 1968, I lost all my possessions except what I was wearing in a flood. I lived in a basement apartment and that night I was watching TV when there was a knock on the door. The person told me to leave immediately—that all apartments were being evacuated. Luckily my children were at their grandparents.  I saw people rowing boats down the stream and spoke to some neighbors to find out what was going on. They explained that due to all the rain we had that summer the sewer system was backing up and flooding all the basement apartments.

I tried to re-enter my apartment but it was already too late—it was filled with sewer water.  I lost all photos (including my children’s baby photos and baby books, all records and books, etc. I don’t fear flooding so much anymore since I always live on top floors or high ground.

But there is always that risk of fire.  There is just too much paper to store in safety deposit boxes or affordable fire safes.  I considered local storage facilities but they do not have seem to have any protection again excessive heat,  bitter cold or mold, that is, they are not even as controlled an environment as a home. I am still working on this problem.

As I said last week, the other area I will address will be my document and image file naming convention. I seem to have tried out several different systems at various times and have never really followed through and implemented one unified system. That task is now on my to-do list for this Do-Over.  I am still considering the use of metadata but will most likely concur with its necessity. Looking forward to next week…

 

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The Genealogy Do-Over journey is a 13 week challenge from Thomas MacEntee, of GeneaBloggers. Week 10 (6 March – 12 March 2015) #WK10GenealogyDoOver

 

© Copyright 2015 Old Bones Genealogy, LLC

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52 Ancestors 2015 Edition: #10 – Sarah M. Strausser (1855 – 1877) – Tombstone Tuesday

Posted on March 10, 2015 in 52 Ancestors, Family History
Headstone of Sarah M Strausser, died 9 January 1877

Headstone of Sarah M Strausser, died 9 January 1877

 

This story seems sad to me because Sarah, who is my 3rd great aunt, died so young. I wish I could find more about her. Most of what I know comes from her tombstone.

Sarah Matilda Strausser was born about 1855. She appears on the 1860 and 1870 US census in the household of Peter Strausser. She is aged 5 and 15 respectively.  The census records are supportive of an 1855 birth year. Find A Grave gives a date of 28 February 1855 as her birth date but this date is not sourced.

Her headstone states that she is Sarah M., daughter of Sarah and Peter Strausser, wife of John Haines, died Jan. 9, 1877, about 21 years 10 months. So she does not appear in the 1880 US census.

She is buried in Shamokin Cemetery (as were Peter and Sarah Strausser), located in Shamokin, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania.  I searched all my newspaper sites but could not find any information on her marriage or death so far.  #tombstonetuesday

 

Week 10 of 52 Ancestors 2015 Edition, a blogging challenge initiated by Amy Johnson Crow in her blog No Story Too Small.

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Society Saturday – Social Media and Genealogy

Posted on March 7, 2015 in Society Saturday

CCGSLogoB&W smThe Carroll County Genealogical Society’s upcoming meeting on Monday, March 16, 2015 at 7:30 PM features Dr. Margaret McMahon, the hockey-playing genealogist. She has a PhD in Computer Science and Engineering,skatingwbookphoto sm corr and with the advent of parenthood, she turned her technical talents to researching her family’s genealogy. She has over twenty-five years of engineering experience, including being a college and graduate school professor. She is an experienced presenter at national and international technical conferences.

She is a volunteer for the Navy Marine Corps Relief Society, and a member of the Anne Arundel Genealogical Society, and the Society of the Naval Treaty. Her interests include playing and coaching ice hockey and needlework.

Margaret will be presenting Social Media and Genealogy.  Explore the use of social networking in genealogical research, from message boards to Second Life, including the use of Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook.

Meetings of the Carroll County Genealogical Society (CCGS) are held the third Monday of each month, March through May and September through November, at 7:30 p.m. in the Dixon Room, Westminster Library at 50 East Main Street, Westminster.  The meetings are free and open to the public.  An annual dinner is held each June and a holiday party each December.  These are for members and their guests, with reservations made in advance.

Please come to our meeting and bring a friend.  You will meet other folks interested in family research and genealogy and enjoy delightful talks that may help you in your own research.  I look forward to seeing new faces!

You can also come early and take advantage of our large collection of books and other materials housed at the Westminster Branch of the CCPL.  On Thursday afternoons, between the hours of 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m., one or more society volunteers will be on hand to assist researchers. Of course, this collection is available to all anytime the library is open.

The CCGS Genealogy Section at the Westminster Branch Library. Photo by Eileen Souza

The CCGS Genealogy Section at the Westminster Branch Library. Photo by Eileen Souza

 

 

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Genealogy Do-Over Week 9 – My Strausser Project, Conducting Cluster Research and Organizing Research Materials

Posted on March 5, 2015 in Genealogy Do-Over

I am following the Modified Participant Options for the Genealogy Do-Over journey. I will be doing over my research for my 3rd great-grandfather, Peter Strausser, and his family in the hopes of knocking down a couple of brick walls.

My research goals are: firm up my documentation to form a sound proof argument that Mary Catherine Strausser is the daughter of Peter Strausser and Sarah (Mumma) Strausser; trace Peter Strausser and his known descendants in the hopes of finding some living descendants who may be able to provide me with some knowledge of this family; and determine the parents of Peter Strausser.

Our topics for Week 9 of the Genealogy Do-Over

Conducting Cluster Research

Modified Participant Options: It is very likely that you have some dead ends, road blocks or whatever you want to call them in your past research. Try taking one person for whom you can find no real information, and iterate out their F.A.N. club connections. Use clues from records such as census sheets to find their occupation, their native country, their native language etc. Start slow and small and progress from there.

Thomas MacEntee recommended the following steps for thorough cluster research:

  1.  Always use a research log
  2. Formulate your theories and write them down
  3. Employ spelling variations when conducting each search
  4. Stop relying only on records that are indexed
  5. Try swapping given and middle names
  6. Search by address
  7. Dedicate yourself to performing a reasonably exhaustive search
  8. Search boundary townships, counties and states

My approach this time will be to follow these recommendations to thoroughly perform cluster research, when I complete researching collateral lines, which will take me a while.  Many of our software programs lack the ability to enter non-related individuals that can then be tied to a specific relative.  I guess what I am wishing for is the ability to add the non-relative to my database and research just like any other family member (add events, images, citations, etc.) and then connect them to a family member without them becoming related or showing up in family/ancestor type reports. I would be very interested in knowing about any genealogy software that can do this.

Organizing Research Materials – Documents and Photos

“All-In” Participant Options: Think of getting organized as an investment: why would you spend years doing research if at some point you couldn’t locate what you’ve discovered? Set aside those crucial one to two hours a month and commit to a plan to get organized.

For this task, I’ve decided to follow the “All-In” Participant Options. I have been relatively successful in organizing and maintaining my file folders and files. I am with Thomas in that I lean heavily toward digital versions of documents and images.

I originally tried the binder method but quickly came to two conclusions: 1) I did not have sufficient space to house the collection as it grew; and 2) it did not really support my organizational style. I am very file folder oriented. I invested in a legal size filing cabinet and legal size hanging folders. Within each hanging folder I can store either legal or letter size manila file folders.  What I store in these folders are the documents I obtain from brick and mortar repositories, even though I scan them to create digital copies.

As I discussed in an earlier Do-Over post, I keep the folder naming consist between paper and digital so I only have to remember on system. Oversize documents, such as copies of newspapers, etc., are placed into large flat archival boxes with the contents listed on the covers.

With my review of my system, I realize that it has been working well for me and I do know how to find everything.  What I do need to do is to comb through my digital and paper folders and create new folders for any couple that does not have one. I confess to lazy days where I just put the document into the parents’ folder rather than make new ones.

The other area I will address will be my document and image file naming conventions. I seem to have tried out several different systems at various times and have never really followed through and implemented one unified system. That task is now on my to-do list for this Do-Over.  Looking forward to next week…

 

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The Genealogy Do-Over journey is a 13 week challenge from Thomas MacEntee, of GeneaBloggers. Week 9 (27 February – 5 March 2015) #WK9GenealogyDoOver

 

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